Patel backed by CHRP program

University of Western Ontario professor Rajnikant Patel has been named among Canadian researchers backed by a Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) program funding the development of new treatments for lung, breast and ovarian cancers, as well as other life-threatening diseases.

Patel, Faculty of Engineering, will receive $345,325 over three years toward his work on a novel platform for minimally invasive tumor localization and treatment.

“Our government supports health research because it improves the lives of Canadians,” says Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), who announced Thursday that 17 universities will receive funding. “These investments will bring together world-leading scientists to seek solutions to important healthcare problems, and lead to new treatments and technologies that will help patients across the country and around the world.”

The announcement of $15 million in funding is provided through the CHRP program — a partnership between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). CHRP grants are designed to assist new projects that involve interdisciplinary collaborations between any field of the natural sciences or engineering and the health sciences.

The grant recipients were selected following a peer-review competition. Each recipient receives between $150,000 and $690,000 over three years. Among the projects funded are developments for a bioengineered cell delivery system to help repair spinal cord injury; risk factors and an optimization model for breast cancer screening; a new intelligent, mobile device for the diagnosis and management of respiratory disease; and the development of new technologies to assess long-term exposures of the Canadian population to air pollution.

In 2008, Patel received funding from this same program to back his efforts in creating an optimal planning strategy for robot-assisted minimally invasive cardiac surgery.

For a full list of recipients, visit the 2011 CHRP competition results page at the NSERC website.